SOURCE: Artist Marc Sijan

December 02, 2009 09:00 ET

Political American Healthcare Debate Provokes Macabre Sculpture

Marc Sijan's Politically-Fueled "Pre-existing Conditions" to Make Controversial Debut During Art Basel

MIAMI, FL--(Marketwire - December 2, 2009) - American artist Marc Sijan's sculptural work, "Pre-existing Conditions," is a shocking, hyper-realistic, life-sized cast of a deceased victim who was failed by the labyrinth of the American healthcare system. Covered up by a generic bed sheet, the sculptured character is a controversial and tragic example of the real people discarded and forgotten during the seemingly endless political healthcare debate. Premiering December 3, 2009 at the renowned Miami Art Space in the Wynwood Art District of Miami, Florida, this thought-provoking sculpture is certain to be the most controversial and memorable piece viewed in conjunction with Art Basel Miami 2009.

Outraged by the state of medical coverage, the polyester-resin work serves as a metaphor for the insurance cartel who he feels is strongly opposed to a competitive public option, regularly rejects health care claims, especially pre-existing health conditions, and an industry that has deemed those conditions acceptable reasons for denying critical care. Over 30,000 people in America die annually because of the inability to receive affordable health care or because of exclusionary clauses built into their insurance policies. While "Pre-existing Conditions" is a polyester-resin cast sculpture, the impression it leaves is definitively real.

Throughout history, artists have been utilizing their work as a distinguished, creative voice to initiate a dialogue with others, stimulate physiological and political discussion and in some ways, redefine or redirect history. Marc Sijan has spent the last forty years of his illustrative career examining and recreating the very believable idiosyncratic aspects of the human condition. The artist has been producing magical, hyper-realistic life-sized sculptures of figures from everyday life that provide the viewer with a powerful and unforgettable illusion. From a security guard standing at attention to a homeless man lying on a cardboard bed at street level, Sijan has become one of the best known living figurative sculptors of his generation. In his most recent series of works, Sijan has dug deep into illustrating the emotional and sometimes upsetting aspects of the lives of ordinary people facing serious challenges that we all recognize.

Picasso's legendary painting, titled "Guernica," depicted the horror and destruction of war on a small town in Spain, George Grosz and most recently, the prominent Colombian artist, Fernando Botero, presented a shocking and controversial exhibition of paintings at New York's Marlborough Gallery, which dramatically revealed the secret torture and grave mistreatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Artists in the future will no doubt continue their visual commentary that responds to current events, whether patriotic or divisive.

Marc Sijin's "Pre-existing Conditions" may be viewed at MAS-Miami Art Space, 244 NW 35th Street, at 786-704-5588, Interviews with Mr. Sijan can be arranged by telephone via Shamin Abas. The press is encouraged to speak in person with Sijan's representative, Bruce Helander, who is the former Provost of the Rhode Island School of Design and a well-known artist and critic. Additional hi-res photographs are available.

About the Artist:

Marc Sijan lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and received his professional training at the University of Wisconsin. The artist's sculpture has been the subject of over 100 museum exhibitions in the United States, including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Albany Museum of Art (Albany, Georgia), Berman Museum of Art (Pennsylvania) and the Southwest Art Museum (Midland, Texas), and in Europe, including at the Galeria Clave in Murcia, Spain. His most recent show at the Sausalito Art Festival in California was awarded first place in sculpture and "Best in Show" out of over 200 exhibiting artists from around the country. Sijan's recent series of new works last year received international attention and press at Cuadro Fine Art Gallery (the largest art facility in the mid-east) in Dubai, UAE, and was unilaterally voted as the most visited art exhibition in recent memory, including rare public visits by Sheik Mohammad, the leader of Dubai. An exhibition of the artist's work is also currently on view at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio and at the Arij Gasiunasen Gallery in Palm Beach.